Centeio maintained his smooth, collected style through early and later rounds and stepped it up during the exciting, down-to-the-wire final heat.
Needing only a 3.40 to overtake Mason Ho in first, Centeio capitalized, turning in a 7.77 ride that sealed the deal. Centeio’s final two-wave score came in at 16.10, thanks to an earlier 8.33 charge.
“This win feels insane – it’s such a huge relief,” said Centeio during the awards ceremony on the beach. “I’ve been waiting for a big win since turning pro six years ago. I had a feeling it was going to come today.”
Centeio takes home $10,000 for the title, as well as 1,500 points towards his WQS rating.
“Look at the list of past winners – some of the best surfers in the world,” he added. “This is a dream come true – I’m psyched.” Centeio will go on to compete in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
Runner-up Mason Ho, 19, showed the kind of Sunset Beach acumen likely passed down from his father Michael and uncle Derek, who share five well-earned Xcel Pro titles.
Centeio and Ho were joined by Makua Rothman and Alex Gray, third and fourth respectively, in the finals – a veritable “young-gun” showdown, with the average age barely legal at 21.7. This is the second consecutive Xcel Pro final for Rothman, 23. And, with his SoCal roots, Gray, 21, was the only finalist not from Hawaii.
Waves ranged from 4’ to 7’, staying relatively consistent in size as the lineup shifted to the point around midday.
The 4-Star 2007 Xcel Pro Presented by No Fear is the kick-off event for Oahu’s North Shore winter surf season.
Be sure to check out the official Web site www.xcelwetsuits.com for full results and photos, plus highlights from Surfing Live’s Webcast.
Many thanks to Surf News Network, the official contest hotline at (808) 596-SURF. For full information on the 2007 Xcel Pro Presented by No Fear, please visit the contest Web site at www.xcelwetsuits.com.
2007 Xcel Pro Presented by No Fear Final Results
1 Joel Centeio $10,000 (1,500 pts)
2 Mason Ho $5,000 (1,313 pts)
3 Makua Rothman $3,000 (1,125 pts)
4 Alex Gray $2,400 (1,069 pts)